These empanadas are yummy and just great as appetizers and party food. They can be made larger like 'meat pies' and are great take along food for picnics and pot lucks too. You can make them more or less spicy, depending upon your own personal tastes by adding more or taking away from the amount of hot pepper. Personally, I like the heat this recipe provides as it gives a complete flavor profile to the filling. These empanadas are baked. If you prefer you can deep fry them but they are just yummy out of the oven and without so much fat.
Use my pie crust recipe for these, it works really well.
2 fist sized russet potatoes scrubbed but not peeled - diced small and boiled till just tender and drained.
1 large onion chopped small
2 ribs of celery diced very small
2 small red or yellow or green peppers (whatever peppers you happen to have)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb ground beef ( you can use half beef half ground pork if you are so inclined)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup green olives (stuffed) chopped
1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1 can of kernel corn, drained well
salt to taste
1. Boil the diced potatoes till just barely tender, drained and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, saute the onion, celery, peppers and garlic in a bit of olive oil till onion is translucent.
3. Add ground beef and saute till pink is almost gone.
4. Add seasonings, wine vinegar, raisins and olives and cook till beef shows no pink.
5. Add diced potatoes, kernel corn and cilantro and mix well.
Taste for salt.
Set mixture off heat and allow to cool pretty completely. It should set up nicely and not be the least bit runny but still juicy ( the potatoes helped firm everything up ).
When the mixture is cool and has 'congealed' I roll out the pie crust and cut circles for the empanadas. The size of the circle depends on whether you want your empanadas small for appetizers or larger like a meat pie. Put a spoon full of filling in the center of the circle and fold over to make a half moon shape. Pinch the edges together and then use a fork to seal the edges or roll and crimp the edges so that the filling does not leak out.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or so till the crust is golden and the filling is hot through.
Serve with dipping sauces or salsas, or sour cream mixed with a little Tabasco or Sriracha.